Sophomore right-hander Whitney Kiihnl threw her third no-hitter and fifth shutout of the season winning game one 6-0.
In the nightcap the Lady Bisons lost 6-4 as Evansville capitalized on a pair of home runs. It was the first loss for the Lady Bisons since Feb. 14, a 3-2 loss at South Alabama. They ended a 17-game winning streak with the loss.
The Lady Bisons are 19-2. Evansville is 5-7.
“It was one of those nights where not everything went our way,” Lady Bisons coach Kristin Ryman said. “I didn’t think we played our worst game by any means. I thought Evansville played exceptionally well. We will learn from it and move on. I don’t think this is going to slow us down.
“We want to figure out what it is going to take for us to be that next level team. I think we are capable of it. I think we are close to being there. The next level teams take care of the games they should win. We are not that next level team consistently yet. I think we can be.”
Evansville jumped out to a 1-0 lead in game two with a run in the third inning. The Lady Bisons answered with one in the third to tie the game.
From then on the game escalated into a home run battle. Evansville scored two runs in the fifth on a home run by Jen Stahlhut.
The Lady Bisons answered in the bottom of the fifth when Kellie Sirus hit a two-run homer, her sixth of the year.
In the sixth Evansville scored three runs, all on a home run by Ashley Rahming for a 6-3 lead.
The Lady Bisons got a solo home run from Abby Keese in the seventh, her seventh of the season. She leads the Atlantic Sun in home runs.
“I didn’t think we did a bad job offensively,” Ryman said. “We have been such a strong offensive team that people take for granted that we should have 11 hits a game.
“We gave up a couple of crucial hits at the wrong moments. We didn’t get some key hits at the right moments.”
Senior right-hander Alaina Jacobson took the loss in game two. In six innings she gave up six runs and six hits. She walked three and struck out three. Kiihnl threw one inning of relief. She struck out two.
“Alaina will make people look silly at times and there are times when she will make an outstanding pitch and get hit hard,” Ryman said. “We know we have to play defense behind her. She is not a strikeout pitcher. It was not a bad performance. She gave up two big hits and they unfortunately made a difference.
“Alaina has a lot of talent. We will keep pushing on.”
The Lady Bisons are five shutouts away from tying last year's record of 17 with the shutout in the first game.
Kiihnl walked one batter and hit another to ruin her chances for her second perfect game of the season. She struck out eight Evansville batters.
“Whitney has been big for us all year and will continue to be big for us,” Ryman said. “That’s the type of pitcher she is. She makes our team better.”
The Lady Bisons struck for 10 hits. Third baseman Christen Campbell bounced a ball off of the top of the fence in left for her second home run. Sirus hit a ball into right center for a triple. Keese added a double.
Catcher Mollie Mitchell and Campbell each had two hits in the game.
The Lady Bisons scored two runs in the second. Mitchell led off with a single to right field and moved to second on a bunt attempt by Campbell. Bree Thurman singled through the left side to score Mitchell. Mackenzie Tucker singled to move Thurman to second. Kiihnl singled to center to score Thurman.
In the fifth the Lady Bisons added four runs. Sirus tripled to open the inning and scored on the double by Keese. Mitchell singled and moved to second on the throw. Keese went to third on the throw and then scored when Evansville tried to get Mitchell in a run down. Campbell drove in Mitchell with her home run.
Next week the Lady Bisons are in Hawaii for three games with Cal-Berkeley and three games with Hawaii starting March 17.
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations